Day 161: A Little Affair of Rivalry

The facts

“There’s a spider on your nose,” Victor remarked coldly.
“I know there is,” retorted William, rising to the occasion. “I’ve trained it to be on my nose.”
Whereupon he proceeded on his triumphant way and did not stop to brush off the spider till he was well out of sight of Victor.

  • Number: 14.10
  • Published: 1932 (same year in magazine form) – originally titled William and the Rivals
  • Book: William the Pirate
  • Synopsis: William intervenes in Robert’s love life.


Robert is anxious to secure the affections of Emmeline, an attractive girl who has just moved to the village. So is Jameson Jameson.

Their younger siblings, William and Victor, take a close interest in the matter. First, they each bet that their own brother will be successful first. But when both brothers are seen strolling, one on each of Emmeline’s rather fickle arms, the deal changes: “I bet I make it so’s she won’t speak to Robert before you make it so’s she won’t speak to Jameson.” There is no particular reason for this hostility other than entertainment.

Entertaining, but more of a story about Robert and his contemporaries than William.